Constellation and data link design for a nano-satellite Earth observation system

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific

Abstract

A constellation of nano-satellites in low Earth orbits can provide complementary Earth observation (EO) data to current large satellite systems in a cost-efficient way. It increases coverage and reduces revisit time compared to current EO systems with few large satellites. We combine constellation and link simulation tools to study the design trade-offs for a constellation of EO nano-satellites at sun-synchronous orbits (SSOs), carrying a hyperspectral camera over continental Europe. Coverage, revisit time, satellite throughput, and scheduling effects are studied for several sets of parameters. We show that 22 satellites evenly distributed on a plane on an SSO at 499.8 km altitude, with a repeat cycle of 5 days, can provide 100 % of accumulated coverage in 27 hours while collecting data only during the daytime. Data download requires scheduling at ground stations (GSs) when a GS has just one antenna and several satellites are in sight. A GS located after the data collection zone reduces the age of information but requires on-board data storage. The developed simulation environment can be used to design and study new constellations in terms of coverage, revisit time, downlink throughput, and age of information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication39th International Communications Satellite Systems Conference (ICSSC 2022)
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology IET
Pages169-175
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-83953-884-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
Event39th International Communications Satellite Systems Conference - Stresa, Italy
Duration: 18 Oct 202221 Nov 2022
https://www.kaconf.com/index.php

Conference

Conference39th International Communications Satellite Systems Conference
Abbreviated titleICSSC
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityStresa
Period18/10/2221/11/22
Internet address

Keywords

  • EARTH OBSERVING SYSTEMS
  • LOW EARTH ORBIT SATELLITES
  • SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
  • SATELLITE CONSTELLATION
  • SYSTEMS SIMULATION

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